This is a slightly different post for me, a bit more personal though it still revolves around two of my favourite things – food and travel. Just in a different setting, away from the campfire and barbeque. Recently I turned 50 and one of the highlights was a special night out, on board one of the icons of the Melbourne dining scene, the Colonial Tram Car Restaurant. As we drove into the city, past the Melbourne Star, I began to suspect where we were going.
This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time, so I was very excited.
On arrival we were warmly welcomed and seated in style. It was a graceful boarding of the tram. Very refined and elegant. And intimate. Window seat guaranteed for a perfect view. Relaxing background music. Friendly staff waiting on our every whim. We sat down to a cosy table for two with starters of gourmet dips, crackers and pate. Choice of beverage … a glass of bubbly, red wine, white wine, cognac … whatever we wanted. As we’re both lovers of a good drop of red the choice was easy. The tram slowly ambled through the streets of Melbourne with barely a jolt. Definitely a smooth ride, though it was obvious we were moving by the changing cityscape outside our window, from the streets of the CBD to the esplanade of Albert Park and St Kilda.
Now this is one very classy way to travel, and what a meal. Entrees consisted of a choice between a duck terrain that we both chose and a smoked salmon and avocado dish. For mains, again we both decided on the succulent Eye Fillet over the Chicken breast dish. What can I say, after 23 years of marriage we’re bound to have similar tastes! The food was delicious, the wine kept flowing. It seemed our glasses were never empty. Was I complaining? Most definitely not.
Half way mark was a stop at the Albert Park Esplanade. A chance to alight from the tram for a change of pace, a chance to stretch our legs before once again boarding for yet more divine food. Dessert was a selection of petite delicacies including sticky date pudding, creme brullee and more. A cheese tasting pallet with quince paste, crackers and a spiced fruit loaf … you get the idea. Plentiful. Beautiful. Fasting required beforehand!
At nearly midnight my exit from the tram was less than graceful but I still managed to manoeuver the steps without totally embarrassing myself. I think that last glass of port tipped me over the edge! But what a night. Beautiful food and wine, wonderful atmosphere and company, music, fellow travelers all enjoying the same amazing energy on board one of my best trips around Melbourne. Ever.
The Tram car restaurant in Melbourne is definitely one experience not to miss if you’re ever in the city. It only took me 50 years to get on board but it was well worth the wait!